Marianne Chan is the author of All Heathens. She grew up in Stuttgart, Germany, and Lansing, Michigan. Her poems have appeared in West Branch, The Journal, Poetry Northwest, Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, Carve Magazine, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She serves as poetry editor at Split Lip Magazine.
In this special Episode #132 of The Blood-Jet Writing Hour, we interview not one but two poets who happen to be in loving partnership with each other. Take a listen to this episode where poets Kazumi Chin and Michelle Lin discuss what it is like to begin and move through literary careers together, navigating romantic and professional jealousy, and what it means to build stronger communities together.
Kazumi Chin’s first poetry collection, Having a Coke with Godzilla, was published in 2017 by Sibling Rivalry Press. Their most recent work can be found in Underblong, AAWW’s the Margins, and in AALR’s Book of Curses. They are the co-organizer and host of Kearny Street Workshop’s key reading series and currently a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at UC Davis.
Michelle Lin is a poet, community arts organizer, and author of A House Made of Water from Sibling Rivalry Press. She is a Kundiman fellow, co-organizer for Kearny Street Workshop’s reading series, and fundraising manager for RYSE Center in Richmond, California, a social justice youth center. You can follow her @sadwitheyebrows.
MT Vallarta is a poet and Ph.D. candidate in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside, where they study feminist theory, queer theory, and Filipinx poetics. Their work is published in Nat. Brut, Rabbit Catastrophe Press, Broadly, Apogee Journal, Weird Sister, TAYO Literary Magazine, and others. They were raised and live in Los Angeles, CA.
Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, four novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, The Devil in Silver, and The Changeling and two novellas, Lucretia and the Kroons and The Ballad of Black Tom. He is also the creator and writer of a comic book Victor LaValle’s DESTROYER.
He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Whiting Writers’ Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Shirley Jackson Award, an American Book Award, and the key to Southeast Queens.
He was raised in Queens, New York. He now lives in Washington Heights with his wife and kids. He teaches at Columbia University.
He can be kind of hard to reach, but he still loves you.
Thank you to our sponsor, Libro.FM! Support your favorite independent bookstore and purchase your audiobooks from Libro.FM. If you use the code WRITINGHOUR, you’ll get three audiobooks for the price of a one-month, $14.99 membership.
We’re kicking off National Poetry Month a few days early with an episode with Erika Ayón! Rachelle and Erika talk about Los Angeles, the color and fruit orange, and migration. Tune in!
Erika Ayón emigrated from Mexico when she was five years old and grew up in South Central, Los Angeles. She attended UCLA and graduated with a B.A. in English. In 2009 she was selected as a PEN Emerging Voices Fellow. In 2014 her poem “Hibiscus Skies,” was selected as a top ten poem from the Poetry in the Windows VI project sponsored by the Arroyo Arts Collective. Erika has taught poetry to middle and high school students across Los Angeles. She was a 2016-2017 Community Literature Initiative Scholar. Her debut collection of poetry Orange Lady was published by World Stage Press in March 2018. Available at http://www.worldstagepress.org/product/orange-lady. Erika currently resides in the San Fernando Valley where she lives with her husband and two cats.
Episode #123: John Jennings, illustrator and co-adaptor of Octavia Butler’s KINDRED
John Jennings is Professor, Media and Cultural Studies, University of California, Riverside. His work centers around intersectional narratives regarding identity politics and popular media. Jennings is co-editor of the Eisner Award-winning essay collection The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art and co-founder/organizer of The Schomburg Center’s Black Comic Book Festival in Harlem. He is co-founder and organizer of the MLK NorCal’s Black Comix Arts Festival in San Francisco and also SOL-CON: The Brown and Black Comix Expo at the Ohio State University. Jennings sits on the editorial advisory boards for The Black Scholar and the new Ohio State Press imprint New Suns: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Speculative.
Episode #122: Lilliam Rivera, author of THE EDUCATION OF MARGOT SANCHEZ!
Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of The Education of Margot Sanchez, a contemporary young adult novel forthcoming from Simon & Schuster on February 21, 2017.
She is a 2016 Pushcart Prize winner and a 2015 Clarion alumni with a Leonard Pung Memorial Scholarship. She has been awarded fellowships from PEN Center USA, A Room Of Her Own Foundation, and received a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. Her short story “Death Defiant Bomba” received honorable mention in Bellevue Literary Review’s 2014 Goldenberg Prize for Fiction, selected by author Nathan Englander. Lilliam was also a finalist for AWP’s 2014 WC&C Scholarship Competition.
Lilliam’s work has appeared in Tin House, Tahoma Literary Review, Los Angeles Times, Latina, USA Today, Cosmo for Latinas, Sundog Lit, Midnight Breakfast, Bellevue Literary Review, The Rumpus.net, and Los Angeles Review of Books.
She hosts a monthly literary radio show, Literary Soundtrack, on RadioSombra.org. Past guests have included Laila Lalami, Victor LaValle, Matt Johnson, Sonia Manzano, Azar Nafisi, among others. She’s also moderated panels for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, PEN Center USA and more.
Lilliam is represented by Eddie Schneider of JABberwocky Literary Agency. She lives in Los Angeles.